Despite a decoupling of forest loss from population and economic growth, emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) remain one of the most important sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Activities in the LULUCF sector can provide a relatively cost-effective way of offsetting emissions, either by increasing the removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (e.g. by planting trees or managing forests), or by reducing emissions (e.g. by curbing deforestation or improving agricultural practices). Still, reality has shown that reducing LULUCF emissions in practice is difficult, not least because of the current lack of clear financial incentive for forest-rich nations and companies to do so. While total funding for REDD+ is on the order of US$ 9 billion (Norman and Nakhooda)1 to date, global fossil fuel subsidies and biofuel subsidies are US$ 480 billion (in 2011) and US$ 24 billion per year respectively.
Author: Pablo Pacheco (CIFOR); Ivo Mulder (UNEP); Tim Christophersen (UNEP); Iain Henderson (UNEP Finance Initiative)